Axiom 1: Document record enterprise knowledge





 Axiom 1

 Axiom 2

 Axiom 3

 Axiom 4

 Axiom 5


Knowing how Support Cycles were used to record and access knowledge in what Documents provides a base to create more value.

Knowing ignorance is strength. Ignoring knowledge is sickness - Tao Te Ching, Lao Tsu

A document is recorded, formatted information used by the enterprise. This information can be expanded from text, graphics, video, audio, formulas or any object combined with an interpreter for human comprehension.

Originally, a person creates each document by using a combination of insight, interpretation of old knowledge, analysis, synthesis and systems. Until knowledge is recorded in a document, it does not belong to the enterprise, but remains with the people who possess it. In an undocumented process, knowledge departs with the person. Put into documents, this knowledge can be archived, accessed, reused and reinterpreted long after people leave. Fundamentally, there are five types of documents:


documents contain the specific knowledge that the enterprise uses to create unique value for its customers in the form of products and services.


documents contain the knowledge that initiates processes and records their performance.


documents contain the strategic direction and operational facts to direct a business process.


documents identify enterprise productive capacity: machines, people, facilities, external resources, etc.


documents frame the business environment within which the enterprise operates.

Industry knowledge plays a large part in how an enterprise understands what it takes to compete. Documents available on the Internet provide access to some of that knowledge.

Records, Governance and Compliance

A record is information created, received and maintained as evidence and information by an organization or person in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business (ISO 15489). Its characteristics are:

·         Authenticity – proof of contents, author, date and time,

·         Reliability – full and accurate,

·         Integrity – complete and unaltered,

·         Usability – located, retrieved, presented and interpreted.

Corporate governance documents and records are part of the management system (described in Chapter 4) by which corporations are managed and controlled.  Sarbanes-Oxley (discussed in Chapter 2) is one of many laws that changed how companies govern their business.  Because major investors value governance, poor governance negatively impacts stock valuation for public companies.

The Document Methodology insures the quality of information, because it explicitly defines and monitors its creation and validation and manages that information in repositories with corporate taxonomy.

Critiquing documents validate content as knowledge if they:

·         Correspond to something real (correspondence),

·         Cohere appropriately with other propositions (coherence),

·         Describe something that works (pragmatism).

For knowledge to be shareable and accessible, documents must be part of an enterprise knowledge architecture.  Taxonomy, metadata and keywords insure that required knowledge is accessible; categorization can be derived from library science cataloguing techniques plus engineering or scientific disciplines associated with the firm’s industry.

When an enterprise knows how its documents flow through and affect its processes, it can audit its governance and determine how to accelerate the enterprise for faster response to its marketplace.

Axiom 1: Knowledge Scenario

Characters in the scenarios associated with each axiom in the introduction are described at the end of this chapter.  These simple scenarios illustrate how the axiom applies to individuals.  The book applies them to the enterprise. 

Pris was asked to write a letter regarding a problem with a product.  Since she had just written a letter about a different problem and product, she was able to revise yesterday’s letter to complete today’s letter.  It took her four hours to carefully create yesterday’s letter and for several people to critique it for style and complete and correct content.

Today’s letter took half an hour because the style and 80% of the content was already complete.  We use yesterday’s documents to compete on knowledge all the time.  Since today’s problem was similar to yesterday’s problem, Pris was able to leverage her past knowledge because she personally knew that in yesterday’s solution:

·         Structure was appropriate to today’s problem,

·         Style and content were validated by independent reviews,

·         State was such that it could be located, accessed, viewed and revised.

Corollaries to Axiom 1

Documents record (and enable the creation of more) enterprise knowledge because they:

1.Format a structure to understand complex synthesis of diverse data aggregates (paper, electronic, audio, video).

2.Represent knowledge objects or products of processes.

3.Guide classification for creating a knowledge library.

Method for Axiom 1

When management knows how to compete on knowledge, a document metaphor is used to repair and streamline recorded knowledge by:

·         Categorizing and restructuring document content and structure.

·         Building an enterprise knowledge taxonomy with metadata, keywords, and abstracts.

·         Assuring operation and monitoring of explicitly defined processes with fundamental support systems.

·         Making knowledge in documents accessible.

Consequences of Axiom 1

·         Employees recreate knowledge if they can’t locate it, don’t understand it, are ignorant of its existence; they recreate it if it is faster than acquiring it.

·         The knowledge required to manage processes is frequently not available because it requires non-existent transaction document statistics to compute variance.

Copyright 2007 by Jim I. Jones / email: